Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why Bigger Zone Numbers Are Appealing

Tough decision this morning. The forecast is supposed to reach 55 degrees. This means it will be 110 in the coldframe if I do not vent it. Currently the temperature in the frame is 37 degrees and the peppers and tomatoes are inside. I have a long day at work today so I won't be able to babysit the thermometer. Do I put the tenders out in the frame and let them deal with the chills for a few hours until it heats up or leave them inside and not risk it? If I put them out, it will have to be in a vented frame to make sure they don't steam later. That means they will be chilly that much longer.

My coldframe is not one of those fancy, user friendly models with automatic venting systems. Mine is a sloped temporary brick rectangle on my patio covered with a thick clear plastic tarp. AKA an oven without venting for any temperature about 52 degrees F. These decisions and the ten minute production of moving stuff in and out of the frame every morning before work and every evening after dinner has been going on since the middle of February. It's a pain, but worth it. The plants this year are much stockier then I have ever had them be when they were grown under lights or in a window. They have also repeatedly survived fifty degree temperature swings so I know they are hardy!

Sometimes I dream about living in a place where the temperature swings go from 65 to 85 and back again. Being able to grow year round would be wonderful. Maybe during the retirement years. For now, I'll accept my challenges with intermittent whining. The hard fought battle makes the victory that much sweeter.


Daphne said...

I occasionally have such dreams as well. But then I'd have to miss the fall foliage season.

Stacy said...

Excellent point!